Details of 600,000 people compromised
A laptop belonging to a Royal Navy officer containing the details of 600,000 people has been stolen, said reports.
Phil O’Neill, director and general manager at Kensington Europe, believes that with the recent spate of data breaches, the time for talking is over.
He said: “High-profile data theft cases have become rife in recent months. And putting sensitive information such as children’s addresses and customers’ bank details at risk isn’t just bad PR for the organisations involved. When Nationwide lost a laptop containing 11m customers’ details, it was fined £980,000.
“It seems that, even though people know laptops can be easily stolen or lost, small businesses in the UK believe that having a password is enough to keep data safe. Unfortunately, this will not stop a determined thief from hacking into the computer. The best way to make sure that sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands is to ensure that the device itself cannot be stolen.
“It is increasingly clear that companies are neglecting the most obvious threats to their security. Businesses invest millions in network security, yet they disregard the danger of physical theft. This is tantamount to investing in a sophisticated home alarm system but forgetting to lock the front door.
“Companies can cheaply and easily ensure the safety of onsite computers by locking them to a fixed object with a specially designed lock. Using such a lock acts as a deterrent and can reduce insurance costs – and helps to reassure employees that their personal details are safe, even if they’re held at a contractor’s site.”
“High-profile data theft cases have become rife in recent months. And putting sensitive information such as children's addresses and customers' bank details at risk isn't just bad PR for the organisations involved. When Nationwide lost a laptop containing 11m customers' details, it was fined Â£980,000.
Phil O'Neill, director and general manager at Kensington Europe
Tom de Jongh, product manager, SafeBoot a data encryption and mobile security provider, commented: “This is another embarrassment for the Government, who has faced enormous data security scrutiny over the past months, following the HMRC debacle. Winning back public trust seems somewhat of a pipe dream with this recent security breach and it is becoming increasingly clear that data security is in a serious state of disarray.
“This breach follows just three weeks’ after a review of data security by the Justice Select Committee, which went as far as recommending criminal sentencing for reckless data leakage. You would think the severity of transporting data on mobile devices would have sunk in by now.
“Implementing relatively straight-forward security policies, for example mandatory data encryption, will go a long way to ensuring future issues do not arise. These policies must be a top-down affair, with those at the top leading by example, setting strict standards for junior employees. Data threats and policy must also be communicated properly to all employees; data security should be part of the culture of government.
“The government needs to get its house in order and ensure this is the last we hear of such incidents.”